Rainbow Lorikeet standing on orange nectar flower with blue sky background out of focus


Scientific Name: Trichoglossus moluccanus

Native Country: Australia

Habitat: Rainforest, Coastal Scrubland and Woodland

Height (Head to Tail): 25 – 30cm, Medium Size

Lifespan: up to 20 years in captivity

Weight: 130 grams

Rainbow Lorikeet – Appearance:

Beautiful multi-colored parrot, that it almost resembles a rainbow. Sure fire way to brighten up anyone’s day!

  • Yellow/Orange/Red – Chest
  • Green/Yellow – Wings, Back, Tail and Neck
  • Red – Coverts (under wing)
  • Deep Blue – Head/Abdomen

Juveniles have a dull plumage, brown eyes and black beaks. However as they mature, rainbow lorikeets are become bright with plumage ranging from yellow, orange, green and blue. Adults will have reddish/orange beaks and red eyes.

Rainbow Lorikeet – Diet:

Lorikeets are nectar and pollen feeders in the wild, therefore a large portion of their diet is liquid.

75% Specialized Mix– Wet or Dry high quality Lorikeet mix with essential vitamins, sugar and amino acids. Wet mix requires emulsion with water whereas the dry mixture can be consumed as the powder. Popular brands include Vetafarm, Harmony and Shep’s.

Vetafarm Nectar pellets Dry Food Vetafarm Nectar Pellets for Lori & Lorikeet
Harmony Wild Blend Lorikeet and Honey EaterHarmony Wild Bird Lorikeet Honey Eater
RoudyBush Lorikeet NectarRoudyBush Lory Nectar 2lb

10% Native Plants – Bottle Brush, Grevilleas, Lillly Pilly

10% Fresh Fruit and Vegetables – Apples, Pears, Strawberries, Grapes, Watermelon, Peaches, Blueberries, Cherries, Mango, Lychees, Paw Paw, Lettuce

5% Treats – Nuts, Cooked Beans, Plain Pasta, Bean Sprouts, Sweet Corn

**Treats could be used as a reward whilst training your bird to perform certain tricks/habits

Rainbow Lorikeet – Essentials:

When bringing your little birdie home for the first time, you will need to ensure you have the basics sorted beforehand.

  • Bird Cage – at least 90cm x 50cm x 90cm (W x L x H) – plenty of room for toys and exercise; best to line the cage with newspaper to easily clean their droppings/mess
  • Cage Cover – any cloth that covers 90% of the cage so the bird can sleep in darkness e.g. blanket
  • Perch – at least 2 perches for sleeping and general support, may want to add a rope or wooden ladder for entertainment
  • Toys – 2 or 3 to begin with for mental stimulation/entertainment; highly recommend toys that jingle or rattle e.g. bells or rattle balls
  • Bowls – 3x bowls (one for wet/dry mix, one for fresh fruit/vegetables and the other for water); your bird might use the water bowl to bath too, that’s completely fine!

Still not sure? Click here to download our 100% FREE bird care checklist here.

Rainbow Lorikeet – Behavior:

  • Socialization: Playful and bubbly birds that require plenty of mental stimulation. In the wild lorikeets explore in groups, so you may want to consider a second lorikeet as their companion or be prepared to give them attention and affection on a daily basis. Lorikeets can be territorial at times especially when interacting with other species. Be cautious, they will bite when feeling threatened or disturbed whilst feeding.

  • Vocalization: Loud, high pitched, repetitive squawks most often noticed when in danger, calling out to other birds or during sunset/sunrise. If you have enough patience, rainbow lorikeets can be trained to say phrases or even talk.

Migraine of Rainbow Lorikeets enjoying bath at garden water fountain

Rainbow Lorikeet – Breeding:

Rainbow lorikeets reach sexual maturity at 2 years of age. If you are planning to breed rainbow lorikeets, you must ensure the male-female pair is bonded. Veterinarians can perform DNA tests to determine the gender by taking a blood sample or testing the feathers. Other requirements are mentioned below:

  • Requirements:
    • Rectangle or L-shaped Nest box (min. dimensions 40x17x17cm – HxWxL)
    • Nest box filling e.g. non-toxic wood shavings or sawdust filling
    • Ensure a well rounded healthy diet of lorikeet mix, fruit and vegetables
  • Mating Partner: Monogamous (bonded pair male & female – one partner usually for life)
  • Breeding Season: All year round but optimal during late winter to early summer – ideal to leave the next box open during summer for aeration. In winter, it’s recommended to hand rear chicks if there is a risk of feather plucking.
  • Clutch Frequency: 1-3 clutches per year (any more could be detrimental to bird health)
  • Clutch Quantity: 1-3 eggs per clutch
  • Incubation Period: 23 days
  • Weaning: Fully weaned at ~8 weeks
Rainbow Lorikeet pair preening each other in the daytime inside cage enclosure

Rainbow Lorikeet – Health:

Across the east coast of Australia, Rainbow Lorikeets have been falling mysteriously ill. The cause is unknown however it is manifested by the paralysis of one or both feet. To learn more about the care and diagnosis, click this link.

Common IssueSymptoms Causes
Psittacosis Appetite loss, fluffed feathers, vomiting, nasal/ocular discharge, diarrhea or pale green feces, breathing difficulties, conjunctivitis, minimal physical movement, tremorsBacteria: Chlamydia psittaci contracted via infected dried saliva, feathers, mucous and feces
Feather PluckingForm of self mutilation by plucking their own feathers, leaving bald patches of skinBoredom, lack of mental stimulation, poor diet, illness, stress
Lorikeet Paralysis Syndrome (LPS)Lorikeet is immobile, leaving them flightless and unable to forage for foodCause unknown – suspected toxic plant. Seasonal occurrence during December – February
Proventricular Dilatation Disease (PDD)Loss of appetite, vomiting, passing of undigested food in feces, weight loss, overall body weakness, head tremors seizuresAvian Bornavirus contracted via fecal-oral contamination or inhalation of infected aerosols
Psittacine Beak & Feather DiseaseSharp, clubbed or abnormally short feathers, pigment loss in colored feathers, bloody feather shafts Beak & Feather Disease Virus (BFDV) contracted from other infected birds e.g. oral – parent feeding young or ingestion of virus particles in dust feces
AspergillosisWeight loss, lethargy, constantly fluffed feathers, difficulty breathing, cloudy eyes, droopy wingsAspergillus fungus: exposure to spores found in dust, mold, soil – mainly affects malnourished or immunocompromised birds
Beak MalocclusionMisalignment of upper and lower beak – difficulty pickup up food or drinking Injury or genetic deformities

Did You Know?

1. Rainbow Lorikeets have a bristle-brush like tongue that contains many papillae that come into contact with plants/flowers

2. Average purchase price for lorikeets is $150 AUD for adults and $200 – $300 AUD for hand raised fully weaned babies

3. A group of lorikeets is known as a “migraine

Sub-Species Gallery: